Waitara Railway Station Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Waitara Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Waitara Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: Alexandria Parade, Waitara, NSW 2077
Local govt. area: Hornsby


North: Property boundary fronting Alexandria Parade;South: Rail corridor fronting Waitara Avenue (excluding carpark);East: 15m from end of platform (including subway);West: 5m from end of platform.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Alexandria ParadeWaitaraHornsby  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Waitara Railway Station Group has significance at a local level. The present station was opened in 1909 following duplication of the line and relocated slightly north of the original. The station is historically significant for although there was an established community in Waitara by the late 1880s, the construction of the railway encouraged rapid subdivision and the development of the town. Waitara Railway Station has aesthetic significance at a local level as a good example of early twentieth century station design with fabric and details typical of this period and is similar to other rail buildings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the Sydney region. The platform building, island platform and subway are representative of structures built at Sydney railway stations between 1892 and 1929, particularly the period between 1909 and 1917. The subway, with its high quality brickwork and ticket collecting booths at the top of the stair, is a particularly fine example of its type.
Date significance updated: 07 May 09
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Department of Railways
Physical description: Station Building, type 11 (Standard type A8) (c.1909)
Platform (1909)
Ticket Booths (c.1938)
Subway (1909)

Waitara Railway Station is located in an elevated position to the west of Alexandria Pde, Waitara and is accessed from a subway at the eastern end of the platform. The southern (Pacific Hwy) side of the platform faces a commuter carpark. The station is in an urban setting and unlike other stations on the North Shore line it is not screened by vegetation or embankments. The station is comprised of an island platform, station building and subway. The stairs to the subway are marked at platform level by two original brick ticket collecting booths.

Exterior: Waitara is a good example of a standard Type A8 station design, frequently used on the suburban Northern line. Walls are of red face brick (tuckpointed) and feature moulded render string course, architraves and window sills. The gabled roof is of corrugated iron with timber valances and barge boards. The timber framed awnings are supported on curved cast iron brackets. The southern end of the roof has been extended to create a covered area in front of the ticket selling window. This end of the roof is supported on heavy brick piers with a string course (similar to Warrawee station). One of the windows on the western side of the building has been infilled with brick. The northern wall of the station still shows signs of where the former timber screen to the men's toilets has been removed.

Interior: Waitara station consists of a ticket office, office, storeroom, and male and female toilets. Ticket office/office walls are rendered with a profiled dado to three walls and with decorative vents. Mini-orb ceilings have a decorative cornice, some with a pressed metal rose. The former fireplace has been infilled. Wide timber architraves surround double hung sash windows with clear glazing. Modern tiled staff bathrooms are connected to the office. Former toilets at the northern end of the building have been converted to a storage area. Floors are concrete slab and the ceiling is of mini-orb. Windows (originally louvred) now sash. Walls are painted brick with tiled dado. An original toilet cistern still exists.

PLATFORM (c.1909)
The concave shaped island platform dates from c.1909 and has brick faces with an asphalt surface. The platform is accessed via a staircase at the southern end which leads from the subway.

At the top of the staircase are two small brick ticket collecting booths (painted) with concrete roofs (c.1938), the only other similar examples of which exist at Wahroonga. Originally, these booths would have been the main markers for the staircase entry from the platform, but their prominence has been diminished by recent fencing and a gabled roof over the stairs.

SUBWAY (c.1909)
The subway linking Alexandria Pde and Waitara Ave is of brick construction and features a well executed brick arched roof. Walls are painted, whilst the floor is of asphalt.

The station office contains a small wooden desk of simple design in good condition.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station - Good Condition
Generally, the station is in good condition. Some termite activity is evident in the architraves of the male and female toilets. There is also some evidence of cracking to walls.

Platform - Moderate Condition
The asphalt surface of the platform appears to have been repaired several times and is not draining properly. Puddles of water are appearing at certain points on the platform after rain has fallen.

Ticket Booths - Moderate Condition

Subway - Good Condition
Modifications and dates: N.d: Small ticket office added to Milson's Point end of platform (now removed).
N.d: Minor modern additions including shelters/awnings
2017: Bird Proofing, Landscaping improvements, Toilet refurbishments, Lighting LED replacements – All Vandalux and Pole top lights fittings replaced to LED fittings, KOP – Seats and Bins changed in accordance with KOP Catalogue.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil


Historical notes: Present day Waitara Railway Station is located on the North Shore line, between Hornsby and Wahroonga railway stations.

In 1887, tenders were called for construction of a branch line extending south from Hornsby to the North Shore. The 16.8km section between Hornsby and St. Leonard’s was opened on 1 January 1890. Stations provided at the opening of the line included Chatswood and St. Leonard’s. A single line was constructed at the time. The line between St. Leonard’s and Milson’s Point (the terminus at the edge of the harbour) was completed 1 May 1893.

Waitara Railway Station was opened on 20 April 1895, as a narrow timber, unattended platform with a waiting shed on the Down side of the line. Waitara was situated between Hornsby and Wahroonga and the original single platform was located on the Milson’s Point side of the present-day pedestrian subway. Access to the platform was via the still existing short street (Waitara Ave) between the Pacific Highway and the railway line.

A new island platform was built at Waitara during the duplication of the North Shore between Lindfield and Hornsby and was completed in 1909. The new island platform was built a short distance closer to Hornsby than the original timber platform, with the Up main line remaining in the original location and the new Down main line being laid in behind the new island platform.

By 1909, Waitara Railway station comprised an island platform with standard brick station building. Access to the station was via a brick lined pedestrian subway at the Milson’s Point-end of the platform with a set of steps leading from the subway up to the platform. Pedestrian access to the subway was from street level on the northern side of the station and via a set of stairs on the southern side of the station.

Electrification of the North Shore line was opened in 1927, with full electric services in 1928. Automatic signalling of the North Shore line soon followed, but no signal box was ever provided at Waitara, with the former mechanical signals near the station being controlled by either Hornsby or Wahroonga.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Building the railway network-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Impacts of railways on urban form-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Waitara Railway Station has historical significance at a local level, because like many areas, although there was an established community in Waitara by the late 1880s, the construction of the railway encouraged rapid subdivision and the development of the town.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Waitara Railway Station has aesthetic significance at a local level. The station is a good example of early twentieth century station design with fabric and details typical of this period and is similar to other rail buildings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the Sydney region. The design of the station building makes a contribution to the overall character of the North Shore line, with its homogenous set of historic station buildings. The station building sits in an elevated position and is clearly visible from both sides of the line and is a well-known local landmark. The elevated position does however detract from the historic setting of the station, as modernisation of the urban environment in Waitara is clearly evident. Other stations on the North Shore line better retain their historic setting because they are screened by trees and/or embankments.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has the potential to contribute to the local community's sense of place, and can provide a connection to the local community's past.
SHR Criteria g)
The platform building, island platform and subway are representative of structures built at Sydney railway stations between 1892 and 1929, particularly the period between 1909 and 1917. The subway, with its high quality bricklaying and ticket collecting booths at the top of the stair, is a particularly fine example of its type.
Integrity/Intactness: Although some modifications have been carried out internally, the platform building displays a high level of integrity and intactness. Modern renovations have been carried out in sympathy with the original plan of the building which retains a large amount of original fabric.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

1. Conservation principles: Conserve cultural heritage significance and minimise impacts on heritage values and fabric in accordance with the ‘Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance’. 2. Specialist advice: Seek advice from a qualified heritage specialist during all phases of a proposed project from feasibility, concept and option planning stage; detailed design; heritage approval and assessment; through to construction and finalisation. 3. Documentation: Prepare a Statement of Heritage Impact (SOHI) to assess, minimise and prevent heritage impacts as part of the assessment and approval phase of a project. Prepare a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) prior to proposing major works (such as new additions, change of use or proposed demolition) at all places of State significance and all complex sites of Local significance. 4. Maintenance and repair: Undertake annual inspections and proactive routine maintenance works to conserve heritage fabric in accordance with the ‘Minimum Standards of Maintenance & Repair’. 5. Movable heritage: Retain in situ and care for historic contents, fixtures, fittings, equipment and objects which contribute to cultural heritage significance. Return or reinstate missing features or relocated items where opportunities arise. 6. Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage: Consider all aspects of potential heritage significance as part of assessing and minimising potential impacts, including Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage. 7. Unidentified heritage items: Heritage inventory sheets do not describe or capture all contributory heritage items within an identified curtilage (such as minor buildings, structures, archaeology, landscape elements, movable heritage and significant interiors and finishes). Ensure heritage advice is sought on all proposed changes within a curtilage to conserve heritage significance. 8. Recording and register update: Record changes at heritage places through adequate project records and archival photography. Notify all changes to the Section 170 Heritage & Conservation Register administrator upon project completion.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  18 Mar 10   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
S170 Heritage & Conservation Register Update2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenJohn Forsyth Line Histories
WrittenRay Love2009Historical Research for RailCorp s170 Update
WrittenSingleton, CC,1965The Short North - The Sydney-Newcastle Link Railway, New South Wales Railways
WrittenState Rail Authority of New South Wales1995How and Why of Station Names. Fourth Edition

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4802058

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